how to sit deep in the saddle (english riding)

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Bay Mare

www.maggieslaw.co.uk
Jun 21, 2004
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I don't really think of sitting deep as that can lead to you sitting heavily.

It's more that you sit in the correct part of the saddle (difficult with a lot of saddles because of stirrup bar placement) with your stirrups at the correct length and with your legs draped around the sides of the horse like they're wet cloths. That way you are distributing your weight more effectively which will help your balance and position enormously.

Learning to absorb the movement of the horse is also key to getting a good and stable seat. If you look at the 'Kinder Way' bit of this site it explains the principles but essentially you need to let your seat bones/hips move independently from one another with the movement of the horse. As the horse moves one side dips and then the other side dips depending on what the feet (horse's!) are doing. By working like this instead of with both seat bones together (polishing the saddle or using a driving seat) you will also be able to feel which diagonal you're in when you're trotting and which canter lead you're on without having to look down. Working like this can make a HUGE difference when you come to do sitting trot.

To find your position in the saddle bring your knees up in front of the saddle (a bit like a jockey would sit) and shuffle forwards so that you're in the deepest part of the seat. Then let your legs hang down again but resist the temptation to shuffle your bum back!!!

Lunging without stirrups can be a good exercise but only if you're taught correctly. It's pointless spending hours on the lunge if you're only practising mistakes. One exercise that I've learned recently which can be beneficial is to work on the lunge or on a quiet horse without stirrups and let your legs hang down. Instead of pointing your toes up, though, which is what we're usually taught, point them right down like a ballerina. Only do a few seconds at a time until you're used to it but it really does help even though it's contrary to what we're usually asked to do.

Is there anything specifically that you're having problems with? From your photo on the other thread the main thing that I could see which is preventing you from sitting in the right part of the saddle is that you've got your stirrups too short for flatwork. You've actually got the makings of a really good position and I'm sure that with longer stirrups it would be so much easier.
 

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
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What By Mare said!

Sitting deep is a nebulous term which, as she says, can lead to sitting like a sack of tatties.

To get a "deep seat" you really need a light supple one, which is moving in a very dynamic way with the horse, it's hard work and needs strong belly and back muslces.
 

molly34

devil's advocate ;)
Mar 9, 2006
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Following on from your previous thread, I'd say the single biggest thing you can do to help your seat is lengthen your stirrups by at least 2 holes. In your pics you look stiff in your hips, so lots of sitting trot and work without stirrups - on and off the lunge - will help you open out your hips, stretch your legs down and build up your core strength/suppleness. Good luck!!
 

lindiak007

New Member
Jul 7, 2007
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New York,USA
Following on from your previous thread, I'd say the single biggest thing you can do to help your seat is lengthen your stirrups by at least 2 holes. In your pics you look stiff in your hips, so lots of sitting trot and work without stirrups - on and off the lunge - will help you open out your hips, stretch your legs down and build up your core strength/suppleness. Good luck!!

thank you...i tried longer stirrups with trainer...yes, that helped...
 

lindiak007

New Member
Jul 7, 2007
194
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0
New York,USA
I don't really think of sitting deep as that can lead to you sitting heavily.

It's more that you sit in the correct part of the saddle (difficult with a lot of saddles because of stirrup bar placement) with your stirrups at the correct length and with your legs draped around the sides of the horse like they're wet cloths. That way you are distributing your weight more effectively which will help your balance and position enormously.

Learning to absorb the movement of the horse is also key to getting a good and stable seat. If you look at the 'Kinder Way' bit of this site it explains the principles but essentially you need to let your seat bones/hips move independently from one another with the movement of the horse. As the horse moves one side dips and then the other side dips depending on what the feet (horse's!) are doing. By working like this instead of with both seat bones together (polishing the saddle or using a driving seat) you will also be able to feel which diagonal you're in when you're trotting and which canter lead you're on without having to look down. Working like this can make a HUGE difference when you come to do sitting trot.

To find your position in the saddle bring your knees up in front of the saddle (a bit like a jockey would sit) and shuffle forwards so that you're in the deepest part of the seat. Then let your legs hang down again but resist the temptation to shuffle your bum back!!!

Lunging without stirrups can be a good exercise but only if you're taught correctly. It's pointless spending hours on the lunge if you're only practising mistakes. One exercise that I've learned recently which can be beneficial is to work on the lunge or on a quiet horse without stirrups and let your legs hang down. Instead of pointing your toes up, though, which is what we're usually taught, point them right down like a ballerina. Only do a few seconds at a time until you're used to it but it really does help even though it's contrary to what we're usually asked to do.

Is there anything specifically that you're having problems with? From your photo on the other thread the main thing that I could see which is preventing you from sitting in the right part of the saddle is that you've got your stirrups too short for flatwork. You've actually got the makings of a really good position and I'm sure that with longer stirrups it would be so much easier.

yep, the stirrups in the second and third picture from the other thread are short, the trainer in Slovakia wanted them like that;-)
The first picture and the stirrup's lenght is my usual lenght, i feel comfortable. lately, because I work on my canter , my regular trainer makes them longer...generally i feel this way...the longer stirrups the better for me....just always fighting with my trainer to have them longer;-)
maybe she knows that i am interested in jumping, so she wants me to get used to shorter ones...i do not know:rolleyes:
 
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